Apple iPhone 5 rumor mills have been in action since last year. However, despite being widely expected, Apple unveiled iPhone 4S instead, which turned out to be Apple's most profitable phone ever. The tech giant is now expected to launch iPhone 5 later this year and, not surprisingly, the rumor mills are spinning faster than ever.

Here is a brief rundown of what we think we know so far about the upcoming iPhone.

4G Compatibility and NFC

We are likely to see the next iPhone with 4G connectivity option. Near Field Communication is also confirmed as Apple has got patent for its iWallet app which is only meant for NFC.

A Stronger iPhone

According to the latest rumors, Apple will use ultrasonic bonding to make iPhone 5 stronger. Possibility of Corning Gorilla Glass is also all-time high. Second generation Gorilla Glass and ultrasonic bonding will make iPhone 5 less prone to scratches, but will increase manufacturing costs of the device. The rear housing will be made of all-new material. The new iPhone is going to snatch few bucks more from your pocket with a target price of $675.

iOS 6.0 with Siri

Last year iPhone 4S debuted iOS 5.0, and now the new iPad has brought iOS 5.1 along with it. iOS 5.1 is a mere update to iOS v5 with some tweaks and improvement. iOS v6.0, which is believed to be in development, is going to take the game to a whole new level. It will be specially designed to compete against Android OS 4.0 ICS or even Android OS v5.0 Jelly Bean. Some geeks say that Apple is going to release iOS 6.0 update for its iPad and iPhone in two months. But that is unlikely.

With the all new operating system, Siri - our virtual friend - will also get updated and feature in the new iPhone.

Quad-core processor and better battery

It makes no sense that Apple will use the A5X chip on iPhone 5 as it has been designed only for the third generation iPad. The upcoming iPhone will have quad-core A6 processor chip. Battery update is also expected.

Release Date

The new iPhone is expected to come out in September/October this year just like iPhone 4S did last year. Some rumors claim Apple may unveil the new iPhone in June. However, it is unlikely as it would give iPhone 4S a very short life-cycle. Most people anticipate late summer or fall release.

(reported by Johnny Wills, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)

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